(Guest contributor – Chaplain Scott Foust)
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
In 1912, Woodrow Wilson was elected as our nation’s 28th President. As World War I broke out in 1914, Wilson maintained an unwavering policy of neutrality. The idea of war brought back his earliest memories when, as a 4-year old boy growing up in Augusta, GA, he witnessed the horrors of the Civil War, when his dad’s local church was converted into a make-shift hospital for Confederate soldiers, and he heard the gruesome stories about Gen Sherman marching into Atlanta and burning it to the ground. (Note: It was Wilson who presided over the dedication of the sculpture, “New South,” the centerpiece for the Confederate section of Arlington National Cemetery.)
Wilson absolutely despised the notion of war. Notwithstanding, he recognized the valor of those soldiers who fought in wars. In 1914, on Memorial Day, Wilson gave a speech at Arlington, saying, “I can never speak in praise of war, ladies and gentlemen. But there is this peculiar distinction belonging to the soldier … He is giving everything he hath, even his life, in order that others may live.”
Two thousand years ago, a very similar statement was made by a humble man from Galilee: “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”. That statement was made by none other than Jesus of Galilee. In fact, Jesus didn’t merely say these words: He embodied them! He gave up His life, so that each of us may live eternally. He fought the war on a Cross, so that we may live in peace with God the Father.
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS WOULD SQUASH THE TEMPTATION FOR SELFISH AMBITION. We need them to internalize this “peculiar distinction” espoused by President Wilson and modeled by Jesus of Galilee.